A Gift for Merriment – the Bards of Lavender Hill

I’ve always thought that True Merriment was a gift of grace;
a very particular hobbity gift, much needed and full of soul restoring joy.

Here is Justin’s account of the Literary Lunch in Lavender Hill that he organised as his contribution to the Bard Fest 2011 and it looks as though there will be more to come. He definitely has a talent for this as well as for singing Basso Profundo, playing amazing piano improvisations, composing songs, playing the guitar, making recordings, etc etc etc!!! but here’s his recipe for hospitality if you have more friends than will fit in your sitting room..

“Just to let you know that we had a ‘fabulous’ Literary Lunch at the charming Terre di Sud on Lavender Hill, and literary and musical contributions from a dozen of our 25 guests who came and went through the course of the day aged from 4 and a bit to 60 something (that includes the unseen guest at every meal where 2 or 3…).

We kicked off at 1230pm and stayed at the cafe till 4ish feasting on delicious bean soup and an Italian smorgasboard of delights with music and recitations (comic and otherwise) from Spike Milligan to the Kinks; from Robbie Burns to Bess Twiston-Davies; from reflections on the difference between loneliness and solitude from the Arctic, to poetical musings on love and loss and identity, and we all joined in together in singing Laughing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’.

The majority then relocated to the Elephant on the Hill for a few hours and then 5 of us ended up round the pizza boxes and my piano till about 1030pm. (There’s an hour and a half on old fashioned tape…)

I will aim to do another of these Literary Lunches (or something similar) within the next 2-3 months and it would be good to have even more people attend. Thank you to our brave contributors; this was a place, I felt, to roadtest our creative efforts, share the wisdom and beauty and humour of other people, whether there in person or with us through being published, and have some fun along the way.

Thanks too to our host Barbara Carrieri who provided a wonderful atmosphere and great food.

There are several photos on my facebook page and a couple of videos from later in the evening on youtube (under harperharmer, happy song, and Adolf loved his moustache.)

If anyone would like more information about future Literary Lunches or has suggestions about how we might improve them please let me know.

God Bless,